By Pamela J. Green, SPHR, Vice President of Membership

Being at the center of an organization, making a difference and having an impact. This is what makes HR a “best job.”

We in SHRM know it. Now, others know it.

“HR manager” came in at No. 3 on’s 2012 list of best jobs. The website announced its list this week after ranking 200 jobs from best to worst based on physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. (For comparison, software engineer was named the best job, and actuary was No. 2. Lumberjack held the bottom spot.)

While the jobs outlook for HR professionals was described as bright, the publisher of the list told The Wall Street Journal that he was surprised to see the popularity of the HR profession.

But it comes as no surprise to us. We know that HR is No. 1.

HR is the center of gravity in an organization. It holds everything together – from strategy to people to customers.

In the big picture, sometimes you can’t see the tiny chain link that holds the fence together. But when the link is missing, it’s visible to all. If you like being the link, you will love HR!  California SHRM member Anne Diskin told the Journal that the mix of analytical challenges and hands-on interaction with employees makes HR a best job.

I asked three other professionals what makes HR No. 1. Here are their answers:

“HR is a best job for me because you have the opportunity each day to interact with nearly every one of the organization’s other functions.  HR is the heartbeat of the organization because it manages the processes that make it run — people processes.  Every day is different and unique, and bored isn’t in our vocabulary!”
Parker McKenna, SPHR, director/human resources compliance officer, Springfield, Mo., Public Schools

“HR is a great job! As HR professionals, we get a multi-dimensional view of the company. We are among the few that get an opportunity to see companies and organizations from the financial, operational, legal/compliance, strategic and employee viewpoints.”
Rita Revels, SPHR, state director, South Carolina SHRM

HR is the best job for so many reasons! First, you really do get to make a difference in your organization. You make all sorts of decisions for the good of the organization and the people.  Second, you get to work with people all the time who bring their own spin to everything and constantly surprise you, for better or worse.  Third, every day brings another set of unexpected things to attend to; your day is never dull in HR.  The variety of things you need to attend to is endless, and you get to create your own fun every day. I would not trade HR for anything!”
Deb Keary, SPHR, vice president of human resources, SHRM

What do you love about being an HR professional? Leave a comment below!